A new sleepbus offering overnight accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable will operate nightly from a carpark on the Esplanade in Pialba as part of a six-month trial of the service.
Hervey Bay Bendigo Community Bank and sleepbus have joined together to convert a bus into a safe, mobile sleeping space for up to 20 people each night.
The sleepbus includes climate controlled individual sleep pods with sheets, linen and a pillow included, along with a lockable door and toilet. It also includes overnight security and CCTV surveillance, storage for belongings, a place for pets, and a twin cabin for overnight volunteers.
The Hervey Bay sleepbus is due to be delivered and start operating in January 2023.
Cr Jade Wellings said the housing crisis had left many people without a roof over their heads and the sleepbus was a fantastic initiative to help those sleeping rough.
“It is important that governments at all levels work together and work with businesses, charities and individuals to address the challenging housing issues confronting our community,” she said.
“Council congratulates the Hervey Bay Bendigo Community Bank and sleepbus for providing this service, which will do so much for those in our community who have so little.
“This is about getting people off the street and offering an immediate, first stop, cost effective solution for our society’s most vulnerable, catching them early until they can get back on their feet.”
At its meeting today (23 November), Council approved the carpark at Apex Park in Pialba as the site for the bus to operate from on a nightly basis from 8pm to 8am, subject to a six-month trial period.
During the day, the sleepbus would return to its depot to be cleaned and reset.
The sleepbus organisation is a registered not-for-profit charity that currently provides services in Canberra, Maroochydore and Queanbeyan, with further services planned for Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay.
More information is available at https://www.sleepbus.org/